Heroin addiction is a serious and devastating issue that affects individuals, families and communities. Since 2010, the number of people who have died from heroin overdose has more than quadrupled. Despite its well-known risks, 6.25 million people use heroin in their lifetimes, 902,000 use it annually and 14,000 die from overdosing each year. A large portion of people who use heroin for the first time misused prescription opioids first.
If you are concerned that someone you love is addicted to heroin, a bit of knowledge goes a long way. Heroin is a difficult drug to overcome, but with the right heroin addiction treatment center in Easton PA, a complete recovery is possible.
How Heroin Became the Epidemic it is Today
There is some context to why heroin has become such a problem in the U.S. The first wave started in the 1990s, when doctors began overprescribing prescription opioids. At the time, doctors were unaware of just how addictive these drugs could be.
In 2010, a rapid increase in overdose deaths involving heroin were seen. This second wave was a result of the crackdown on prescription opioids. As the government, medical and scientific communities learned how addictive opioids could be, they were not prescribed nearly as often. Therefore, patients had a hard time getting their prescriptions refilled or their dosages increased, causing them to turn elsewhere.
The third wave began in 2013 and continues today, with a significant increase in deaths involving synthetic opioids, particularly illicitly manufactured fentanyl. Many fentanyl pills are laced with other drugs like cocaine and heroin, making them extremely dangerous and unpredictable for users. Nearly 88 percent of opioid-related overdose deaths involve synthetic opioids.
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Use and Abuse
Heroin is a highly addictive and potent drug. Most people cannot use this drug occasionally or recreationally - it is too destructive. Since the drug is so powerful, it produces equally powerful effects. Due to the natural cycle of tolerance, the body eventually needs more and more to achieve the same effects, leading to dependence and addiction.
Here are the signs and symptoms of heroin use and misuse:
- Needle Marks. Injection is a common method of heroin use, leading to visible needle marks on the arms, legs or other parts of the body.
- Constricted Pupils. Heroin use often causes pupils to become extremely small, even in dim lighting.
- Unexplained Weight Loss. Heroin use can suppress appetite, leading to noticeable weight loss.
- Runny Nose and Frequent Nosebleeds. Snorting heroin can result in nasal issues, including persistent runny nose or nosebleeds.
Behavioral and Emotional Signs
- Isolation. Individuals addicted to heroin may withdraw from social activities, friends and family.
- Mood Swings. Heroin can lead to intense mood swings, including euphoria followed by depression or irritability.
- Neglected Responsibilities. Addiction may lead to neglecting work, school and personal responsibilities.
- Change in Appearance. A decline in personal hygiene and grooming can be a sign of heroin use.
Financial and Legal Issues
- Financial Struggles. Heroin addiction can be financially draining due to the need to purchase the drug regularly.
- Legal Problems. People addicted to heroin may engage in risky behaviors or criminal activities to obtain the drug.
Health and Physical Changes
- Nodding Off. Heroin's sedative effects can cause users to "nod off" or appear drowsy and disoriented.
- Slurred Speech. Impaired coordination and cognitive function can lead to slurred speech.
- Skin Issues. Heroin use can cause skin infections, abscesses and a generally unhealthy appearance.
- Spoons, Needles and Syringes. These items may be found in the person's belongings.
- Burnt Spoons. Heating heroin to prepare it for injection can cause the bottom of spoons to appear burnt.
Drastic Behavioral Changes
- Change in Social Circles. Be on the lookout for new friendships with individuals involved in drug use or criminal activity.
- Secretive Behavior. Addiction can cause people to hide actions or possessions related to heroin use.
Where to Find Treatment for Heroin Addiction
Heroin addiction is a challenging journey, but the path to recovery begins with the right heroin addiction treatment center in Easton PA. We realize that the statistics for heroin recovery can be grim, but keep in mind that they don’t look at the whole picture.
Relapse rates are high for addiction, but like other bad habits, it can take several attempts before a person is able to stop. Until then, it’s important to be supportive of the person’s recovery while also seeking help for yourself and others in the family.
Below are some treatment options that have proven effective for treating heroin addictions:
Your first point of contact should be a medical professional, such as a primary care doctor or an addiction specialist. They can provide a comprehensive assessment of the situation and recommend appropriate treatment options based on your needs.
Addiction Treatment Programs
Inpatient rehab centers provide a safe and supportive environment where individuals stay for a set period. They offer intensive therapy, counseling and 24/7 supervision. While inpatient programs offer a higher level of care, they are less flexible and more expensive.
Outpatient programs are a popular choice because they allow individuals to receive treatment while living at home. They are a great fit for those who need structured support but have work or family obligations. Outpatient rehab offers similar treatment services to inpatient programs, including therapy, counseling, group support and aftercare resources.
Therapists and Counselors
Individual therapy and counseling are essential components of addiction treatment. Without this ongoing support, a person is much more likely to relapse. Therapists and counselors trained in addiction can help individuals address the underlying causes of their addiction, as well as develop healthy coping skills.
Support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) provide a sense of community and understanding. Sharing experiences with others who have faced similar challenges can be empowering and encouraging.
Start Heroin Addiction Treatment in Easton PA
Finding treatment for heroin addiction is the first step towards a brighter, healthier future. There is a wide range of options available to meet individual needs and circumstances. Remember that seeking help is a courageous decision that can ultimately give you back your life.
Recovery Cove PA is a heroin addiction treatment center in Easton PA that offers comprehensive outpatient services. We have a multifaceted approach to treating heroin addiction, including medication, behavioral therapy and counseling. Contact us at 484-549-COVE or fill out our contact form to learn more about our treatment services for heroin addiction.